Monday, April 30, 2007

Parenting Question...

Is there any way to train your child to become more compassionate, or is that just a God-given trait? My 7-year-old has apparently inherited my lack of mercy, and it's affecting all our family relationships plus several of her friendships at school and church.

Case in point: We were talking about compassion, and I asked, "When you see someone who is upset or hurt, what do you do?"

Her answer: "I just walk away."

Her hard heart is breaking my heart. Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Anti-Consumer Challenge

On Tuesday night I was attemping to tidy up our study, and I ended up spending an hour going through our receipts folder and shredding any and all unnecessary and outdated receipts. I filled up two grocery bags with shredded receipts, some of which dated back to '04.

Skip ahead to Wednesday when I was searching for a rubber stamp to loan to a friend and realized that I can't find anything in my craft area because I've apparently bought half of Hobby Lobby without ever using any of it.

Fast forward to today, where I spend several hours going through the front hall closet and realized that, collectively, our family of five owns 26 jackets and coats, which is especially ridiculous considering we're in South Texas.

And finally tonight, I discovered that my son and his friend destroyed the brand new Spurs trashcan that I had just bought yesterday. I found myself extremely angry over a $12.99 metal trashcan that the boys had apparently sat on or jumped on several times until it was flattened.

Even though I've never liked the gross level of materialism in America, I've become one of it's major consumers. I can't remember the last time I ever asked myself whether I really needed what I was buying. Scrapbook paper is on sale? Great, I'll stock up. Not in the mood for a sandwich at home? No problem -- I can grab something at Taco Cabana. And I won't even admit how many pairs of shoes I have. I get so excited when I actually find a pair of shoes in my size that I tend to snatch them up whether or not I actually need yet another pair of summer sandals.

So here's my plan. I've decided to go on a fast from consumerism. Starting tomorrow morning, I'm only going to purchase the basic necessities for my family. Groceries, but only the minimal basics and only from a list based on a definite menu plan. (I'm also going to challenge myself to get creative and use up the stash in my pantry and freezer.) There will be no drive-thru meals (unless I'm using a freebie coupon). There will be no impulse buys just because it's on sale or tempting. There will be no decoration purchases, clothing purchases, or scrapbooking or craft purchases. No books. No CDs. Basically, no stuff.

I'm not going to give myself a timeline, partly because I'm just curious to see how long I can last. Also, I don't want to beat myself up too badly if I don't last a week.

Here's the tough part -- I work as a mystery shopper. Even worse, tomorrow I have to go to Target for a job. I'm required to spend $50 in cash, so I'm going to keep myself accountable by only bringing $60 to the store. And I know we need a new cordless phone so that will be the bulk or entirety of the purchase. If the phone is less than $50, I'm going to do my darndest to find an actual necessity, such as supplies for Caelyn's upcoming birthday party.

Also, I have to bend the eating-out rules just a little bit since I have several restaurant mystery shops in the next couple weeks. Sometimes the shop only covers two adult entrees, but we often need to take our kids and would like to feed them, too. So, I'm going to allow meals for the kids when I'm doing a mystery shop, but we're going to try and share meals and limit the food waste.

I can't even begin to imagine how hard this is going to be for me and the kids. Tune in for further reflection after I last a few days.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Really? I'd always pictured myself as a Snickerdoodle...
sweet, spicy, and a little cracked on top

You Are a Jam Cookie

On the outside, you project a straight-laced, innocent vibe.
But on the inside, you're complex, exotic, and full of flavor.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Go Spurs Go!

NBA playoffs have officially begun, which means that I'll be on a constant adrenaline rush from now until the Spurs win it all or get knocked out. Last night's game was not a great start, but we've won plenty a series after losing the first game. And it made me darn, DARN happy that the Mavericks got skunked by the #8 seed.

I saw a great T-shirt last month that read:
I root for the Spurs and for whichever team is beating the Mavericks.
A little mean, but that's what makes rivalries fun.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I Got My Groove On

I tried something new at the gym yesterday... a dance class called Body and Soul. It was a full hour of FAST moving salsa and hip hop dancing, something I have never done before (and it showed). The instructor is an adorable, petite Hispanic woman who also teaches belly dancing, so she can shake her groove thing without any problem. Me? I'm more akin to a gorilla. Still, it was a blast and I'll try it again. My heart rate stayed UP the entire time and I probably burned several hundred calories, plus I logged 6,000 steps on my pedometer. Not a bad way to spend an hour, except for the embarrassment factor.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

You NEED This

I got the NIV Audio Bible a couple years ago for my birthday. The plan was for me to listen to it while I was on my treadmill, but that never happened. But here's what we've discovered: Our kids love to listen to it during dinner time. On Friday night we couldn't make it to the Good Friday service at church, so we listened to the dramatized version from Mark's gospel. The kids were attentive, excited, and eager to share what they knew, too. It was a great alternative to church since Kevin had to work late.
And on that note, why isn't Good Friday a national holiday? The post office was open and some schools were still in session. We get Veterans Day, MLK Day, Memorial Day, etc., but not the day when Christ actually died for our sins? Just another prime example of why America is not a Christian nation.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's Not a Leg-Shaped Lamp, But Still...

I feel like the dad in The Christmas Story when he dances around the living room yelling, "I won I won I won!" Moments later the door knocks, a crate is delivered, and the ecstatic dad discovers his "major award" is a fra-jee-lay leg-shaped lamp.

Today I got a letter from my all-time favorite magazine, Games World of Puzzles, saying that I'd won a runner-up prize for one of their monthly contests. I get a Games T-shirt, which I will very proudly wear to the gym and the pool this summer.

(Yes, I know I'm a geek. And I also know that my buddy Paul will be one of the few who can appreciate my major award.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

30-Day Organizational Challenge

One of my favorite blogs is hosting an organizational challenge. We have a month to choose an area of our house and whip it into shape. I need to post before and after pictures showing my organizational progress. So, even though this is even more embarrassing than showing pictures of my minivan, here's what my study looks like today...

It's a good thing I have a whole month, isn't it? Good grief, I better get to work.